The Transforming Power of Grace

In the conversation for Sunday, May 21, 2017, Pastor Kim Nowlin explores with us the transformative power of God’s grace. 

The Transforming Power of Grace

“And God’s grace was so powerfully at work in them all that there were no needy persons among them.”
Acts 4:32-34 (NIV)

Sacred Reading

A note about the recording of the Sacred Reading:
The reader will pause between each of the four readings. The pauses have been left in the recording so that the listener can experience the rhythm of the gathering and even participate in the reading.

All the believers were one in heart and mind. No one claimed that any of their possessions was their own, but they shared everything they had. With great power the apostles continued to testify to the resurrection of the Lord Jesus. And God’s grace was so powerfully at work in them all that there were no needy persons among them.
Acts 4:32-34 (NIV)

The Power of Spiritual Conversation

In the conversation for Sunday, May 14, 2017, Pastor Stuart Nice explains the necessity for conversations that lead us into a closer relationship with one another and with the Lord. 

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The Power of Spiritual Conversations

When they had finished eating, Jesus said to Simon Peter, “Simon son of John, do you love me more than these?”
“Yes, Lord,” he said, “you know that I love you.”
Jesus said, “Feed my lambs.”
Again Jesus said, “Simon son of John, do you love me?”
He answered, “Yes, Lord, you know that I love you.”
Jesus said, “Take care of my sheep.”
The third time he said to him, “Simon son of John, do you love me?”
Peter was hurt because Jesus asked him the third time, “Do you love me?” He said, “Lord, you know all things; you know that I love you.”
Jesus said, “Feed my sheep. Very truly I tell you, when you were younger you dressed yourself and went where you wanted; but when you are old you will stretch out your hands, and someone else will dress you and lead you where you do not want to go.” Jesus said this to indicate the kind of death by which Peter would glorify God. Then he said to him, “Follow me!”
Peter turned and saw that the disciple whom Jesus loved was following them. (This was the one who had leaned back against Jesus at the supper and had said, “Lord, who is going to betray you?”) When Peter saw him, he asked, “Lord, what about him?”
Jesus answered, “If I want him to remain alive until I return, what is that to you? You must follow me.”
John 21:15-22 (NIV)
  1. Checking the Heart
  2. Restoring the Breaches
  3. Giving Purpose

Spiritual Conversation Starters Handout

Sacred Reading

A note about the recording of the Sacred Reading:
The reader will pause between each of the four readings. The pauses have been left in the recording so that the listener can experience the rhythm of the gathering and even participate in the reading.

Jesus answered him, “Those who love me will do what I say. My Father will love them, and we will go to them and make our home with them. A person who doesn’t love me doesn’t do what I say. I don’t make up what you hear me say. What I say comes from the Father who sent me."
“I have told you this while I’m still with you. However, the helper, the Holy Spirit, whom the Father will send in my name, will teach you everything. He will remind you of everything that I have ever told you."
“I’m leaving you peace. I’m giving you my peace. I don’t give you the kind of peace that the world gives. So don’t be troubled or cowardly."
John 14:23-27 (GW)

Learning to Follow When You Lose Your Way

In the conversation for Sunday, May 7, 2017, Pastor Stuart Nice shares with us that if you find that you are lost, stop and wait, God will find you.

Learning to Follow When You Lose Your Way

     Afterward Jesus appeared again to his disciples, by the Sea of Galilee. It happened this way: Simon Peter, Thomas (also known as Didymus), Nathanael from Cana in Galilee, the sons of Zebedee, and two other disciples were together. “I’m going out to fish,” Simon Peter told them, and they said, “We’ll go with you.” So they went out and got into the boat, but that night they caught nothing.
     Early in the morning, Jesus stood on the shore, but the disciples did not realize that it was Jesus.
     He called out to them, “Friends, haven’t you any fish?”
     “No,” they answered.
     He said, “Throw your net on the right side of the boat and you will find some.” When they did, they were unable to haul the net in because of the large number of fish.
     Then the disciple whom Jesus loved said to Peter, “It is the Lord!” As soon as Simon Peter heard him say, “It is the Lord,” he wrapped his outer garment around him (for he had taken it off) and jumped into the water. The other disciples followed in the boat, towing the net full of fish, for they were not far from shore, about a hundred yards. When they landed, they saw a fire of burning coals there with fish on it, and some bread.
     Jesus said to them, “Bring some of the fish you have just caught.” So Simon Peter climbed back into the boat and dragged the net ashore. It was full of large fish, 153, but even with so many the net was not torn. Jesus said to them, “Come and have breakfast.” None of the disciples dared ask him, “Who are you?” They knew it was the Lord. Jesus came, took the bread and gave it to them, and did the same with the fish. This was now the third time Jesus appeared to his disciples after he was raised from the dead.
John 21:1-14 (NIV)
  • The Discipline of Waiting
  • The Tendency to Go Backwards
  • Jesus Reestablishes Direction Through Relationship

Sacred Reading

Due to a technical issue, this Sunday’s Sacred Reading did not get recorded.

The practice of Sacred Reading involves reading the passage of scripture four times, each time with a different focus, pausing in between. Here are the guidelines.

  • Read: Read the passage and receive it as God’s message to you.
  • Reflect: Read the passage again and look for the word or phrase that the Holy Spirit highlights to your heart.
  • Respond: Take the highlighted words and make them a prayer.
  • Rest: Rest your heart in God’s promises.

The text for the morning was Psalm 40:1-5, NIV

I waited patiently for the Lord;
    he turned to me and heard my cry.
He lifted me out of the slimy pit,
    out of the mud and mire;
he set my feet on a rock
    and gave me a firm place to stand.
He put a new song in my mouth,
    a hymn of praise to our God.
Many will see and fear the Lord
    and put their trust in him.
Blessed is the one
    who trusts in the Lord,
who does not look to the proud,
    to those who turn aside to false gods.[b]
Many, Lord my God,
    are the wonders you have done,
    the things you planned for us.
None can compare with you;
    were I to speak and tell of your deeds,
    they would be too many to declare.
Psalms 40:1-5 (NIV)

Learning to Follow When Life Goes Sideways

In the conversation for Sunday, April 30, 2017, Pastor Stuart Nice encourages us to press into trusting God in and through difficult situations. Even if the doubts are too strong and it feels as if God is not there, we can follow the example of the disciples by gathering together, sharing one another’s burdens, and experiencing God’s grace through fellowship.

Learning to Follow When Life Goes Sideways, John 20:24-31, NASB

But Thomas, one of the twelve, called Didymus, was not with them when Jesus came. So the other disciples were saying to him, “We have seen the Lord!” But he said to them, “Unless I see in His hands the imprint of the nails, and put my finger into the place of the nails, and put my hand into His side, I will not believe.”
John 20:24-25 (NASB) 

We Can All Be Thomas

After eight days His disciples were again inside, and Thomas with them. Jesus *came, the doors having been shut, and stood in their midst and said, “Peace be with you.” Then He *said to Thomas, “Reach here with your finger, and see My hands; and reach here your hand and put it into My side; and do not be unbelieving, but believing.”
John 20:26-27 (NASB) 

Following in Doubt

Thomas answered and said to Him, “My Lord and my God!” Jesus *said to him, “Because you have seen Me, have you believed? Blessed are they who did not see, and yet believed.” Therefore many other signs Jesus also performed in the presence of the disciples, which are not written in this book; but these have been written so that you may believe that Jesus is the Christ, the Son of God; and that believing you may have life in His name.
John 20:28-31 (NASB) 

Believing Is Seeing

Sacred Reading

A note about the recording of the Sacred Reading:
The reader will pause between each of the four readings. The pauses have been left in the recording so that the listener can experience the rhythm of the gathering and even participate in the reading.

To You, O Lord, I lift up my soul. O my God, in You I trust, Do not let me be ashamed; Do not let my enemies exult over me. Indeed, none of those who wait for You will be ashamed; Those who deal treacherously without cause will be ashamed. Make me know Your ways, O Lord; Teach me Your paths. Lead me in Your truth and teach me, For You are the God of my salvation; For You I wait all the day. Remember, O Lord, Your compassion and Your lovingkindnesses, For they have been from of old.
Psalms 25:1-6 (NASB)

When Life Goes Upside Down

In the conversation for Sunday, April 23, 2017, Pastor Stuart Nice shares with us that life will go upside down at some time, and when it does Jesus will be there with peace only he can provide.

When Life Goes Upside Down

Mary Magdalene came, announcing to the disciples, “I have seen the Lord,” and that He had said these things to her.
So when it was evening on that day, the first day of the week, and when the doors were shut where the disciples were, for fear of the Jews, Jesus came and stood in their midst and said to them, “ Peace be with you.” And when He had said this, He showed them both His hands and His side. The disciples then rejoiced when they saw the Lord. So Jesus said to them again, “Peace be with you; as the Father has sent Me, I also send you.” And when He had said this, He breathed on them and said to them, “Receive the Holy Spirit.
John 20:18-22, NASB
  • Where is Jesus?
  • What is he saying?
  • How do I make sense of it?

Sacred Reading

A note about the recording of the Sacred Reading:
The reader will pause between each of the four readings. The pauses have been left in the recording so that the listener can experience the rhythm of the gathering and even participate in the reading.

Since God chose you to be the holy people he loves, you must clothe yourselves with tenderhearted mercy, kindness, humility, gentleness, and patience. Make allowance for each other’s faults, and forgive anyone who offends you. Remember, the Lord forgave you, so you must forgive others. And the most important piece of clothing you must wear is love. Love is what binds us all together in perfect harmony. And let the peace that comes from Christ rule in your hearts. For as members of one body you are called to live in peace. And always be thankful.
Colossians 3:12-15, NLT

You Can't Really Live Without Dying: You Can't Get There From Here, Part 5

In the conversation for Sunday, April 9, 2017, Pastor Stuart Nice shares about the paradox of finding what it is to truly live only if we choose to die to the self.

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You Can't Really Live Without Dying

And He summoned the crowd with His disciples, and said to them, “If anyone wishes to come after Me, he must deny himself, and take up his cross and follow Me. For whoever wishes to save his life will lose it, but whoever loses his life for My sake and the gospel’s will save it. For what does it profit a man to gain the whole world, and forfeit his soul? For what will a man give in exchange for his soul?
Mark 8:34-37 (NASB)

Sacred Reading

A note about the recording of the Sacred Reading:
The reader will pause between each of the four readings. The pauses have been left in the recording so that the listener can experience the rhythm of the gathering and even participate in the reading.

Love each other with genuine affection, and take delight in honoring each other. Never be lazy, but work hard and serve the Lord enthusiastically. Rejoice in our confident hope. Be patient in trouble, and keep on praying. When God’s people are in need, be ready to help them. Always be eager to practice hospitality.

Bless those who persecute you. Don’t curse them; pray that God will bless them. Be happy with those who are happy, and weep with those who weep. Live in harmony with each other. Don’t be too proud to enjoy the company of ordinary people. And don’t think you know it all!

Never pay back evil with more evil. Do things in such a way that everyone can see you are honorable. Do all that you can to live in peace with everyone.
Romans 12:10-18 (NLT)

You Can't Experience Love Without Forgiving: You Can't Get There From Here, Part 4

In the conversation for Sunday, April 2, 2017, Pastor Stuart Nice shares with us that forgiveness flows to those who forgive.

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You Can't Experience Love Without Forgiving

“Forgive us our debts, as we also have forgiven our debtors.
And do not lead us into temptation, but deliver us from evil.
For if you forgive others for their transgressions, your heavenly Father will also forgive you. But if you do not forgive others, then your Father will not forgive your transgressions.”
Matthew 6:12-15, NASB

Sacred Reading

A note about the recording of the Sacred Reading:
The reader will pause between each of the four readings. The pauses have been left in the recording so that the listener can experience the rhythm of the gathering and even participate in the reading.

     Above all, love each other deeply, because love covers over a multitude of sins. Offer hospitality to one another without grumbling. Each of you should use whatever gift you have received to serve others, as faithful stewards of God’s grace in its various forms. If anyone speaks, they should do so as one who speaks the very words of God. If anyone serves, they should do so with the strength God provides, so that in all things God may be praised through Jesus Christ. To him be the glory and the power for ever and ever. Amen.
Suffering for Being a Christian
     Dear friends, do not be surprised at the fiery ordeal that has come on you to test you, as though something strange were happening to you. But rejoice inasmuch as you participate in the sufferings of Christ, so that you may be overjoyed when his glory is revealed.
1 Peter 4:8-13, NIV

You Can't Be Great Without Being Least: You Can't Get There From Here, Part 3

In the conversation for Sunday, March 26, 2017, Pastors Stuart Nice and Kim Nowlin share with us that in order to have the greatest kingdom impact we must find the openness to ask revealing questions of ourselves, the humility to walk Jesus' way, and the commitment be a student of how to relation to those around us. 

You Can't Be Great Without Being Least

They came to Capernaum; and when He was in the house, He began to question them, “What were you discussing on the way?” But they kept silent, for on the way they had discussed with one another which of them was the greatest. Sitting down, He called the twelve and *said to them, “If anyone wants to be first, he shall be last of all and servant of all.” Taking a child, He set him before them, and taking him in His arms, He said to them, “Whoever receives one child like this in My name receives Me; and whoever receives Me does not receive Me, but Him who sent Me.” Mark 9:33-37, NASB

 

Sacred Reading

A note about the recording of the Sacred Reading:
The reader will pause between each of the four readings. The pauses have been left in the recording so that the listener can experience the rhythm of the gathering and even participate in the reading.

Don't ever let anyone call you Teacher. Don't let people put you on a pedestal like that. You have only one teacher and all of you are on the same level as brothers and sisters. Don't set people up as experts over your life, letting them tell you what to do. Save that authority for God. And don't address anyone here on earth as 'Father,' for only God in heaven is your spiritual Father. And don't let people maneuver you into taking charge of them. There is only one Life-Leader for you and them—Christ. The greatest among you must be a servant. If you puff yourself up, you'll get the wind knocked out of you. But if you're content to simply be yourself, your life will really count. 
Matthew 23:8-12, NLT & The Message combo

You Can't Get Better by Making Less of Others: You Can't Get There from Here, Part 2

In the conversation for Sunday, March 19, 2017, Pastor Stuart Nice shares with us the pitfalls of judging others and what a new path would look like if we follow Jesus' lead.

You Can't Get Better by Making Less of Others

     “Do not judge so that you will not be judged. For in the way you judge, you will be judged; and by your standard of measure, it will be measured to you. Why do you look at the speck that is in your brother’s eye, but do not notice the log that is in your own eye? Or how can you say to your brother, ‘Let me take the speck out of your eye,’ and behold, the log is in your own eye? You hypocrite, first take the log out of your own eye, and then you will see clearly to take the speck out of your brother’s eye."
     “Do not give what is holy to dogs, and do not throw your pearls before swine, or they will trample them under their feet, and turn and tear you to pieces."
Matthew 7:1-6, NASB
  1. What do we know about judging others?
  2. Where is Jesus taking us as his disciples?
  3. The practice and prescription of the new path

Sacred Reading

A note about the recording of the Sacred Reading:
The reader will pause between each of the four readings. The pauses have been left in the recording so that the listener can experience the rhythm of the gathering and even participate in the reading.

     If you really keep the royal law found in Scripture, “Love your neighbor as yourself,” you are doing right. But if you show favoritism, you sin and are convicted by the law as lawbreakers. For whoever keeps the whole law and yet stumbles at just one point is guilty of breaking all of it. For he who said, “You shall not commit adultery,” also said, “You shall not murder.” If you do not commit adultery but do commit murder, you have become a lawbreaker.
     Speak and act as those who are going to be judged by the law that gives freedom, because judgment without mercy will be shown to anyone who has not been merciful. Mercy triumphs over judgment.
James 2:8-13, NIV

The Kingdom Way: You Can't Get There from Here, Part l

In the conversation for Sunday, March 12, 2017, Pastor Stuart Nice shares with us that our goal of living according to God's kingdom cannot be accomplished through natural means. It's by being people of blessing that others are blessed. We can be Jesus to others by being with Jesus ourselves. These are not things we do, rather what we already are in Christ.

The Kingdom Way

“For this reason I say to you, do not be worried about your life, as to what you will eat or what you will drink; nor for your body, as to what you will put on. Is not life more than food, and the body more than clothing? Look at the birds of the air, that they do not sow, nor reap nor gather into barns, and yet your heavenly Father feeds them. Are you not worth much more than they? ... You of little faith! Do not worry then, saying, ‘What will we eat?’ or ‘What will we drink?’ or ‘What will we wear for clothing?’ For the Gentiles eagerly seek all these things; for your heavenly Father knows that you need all these things. But seek first His kingdom and His righteousness, and all these things will be added to you.
“So do not worry about tomorrow; for tomorrow will care for itself. Each day has enough trouble of its own.
Matthew 6:25-26, 30-34, NASB

Sacred Reading

A note about the recording of the Sacred Reading:
The reader will pause between each of the four readings. The pauses have been left in the recording so that the listener can experience the rhythm of the gathering and even participate in the reading.

Blessed are those who recognize they are spiritually helpless.
The kingdom of heaven belongs to them.
Blessed are those who mourn.
They will be comforted.
Blessed are those who are gentle.
They will inherit the earth.
Blessed are those who hunger and thirst for God’s approval.
They will be satisfied.
Blessed are those who show mercy.
They will be treated mercifully.
Blessed are those whose thoughts are pure.
They will see God.
Blessed are those who make peace.
They will be called God’s children.
Matthew 5:3-9, GW

Emptying Yourself of Religion

In the conversation for Sunday, March 5, 2017, Pastor Stuart Nice shares with us a reflection on the simple gospel with three simple "tests" to evaluate whether or not we are living according to this simple gospel.

Emptying Yourself of Religion

“Two men went up to the Temple to pray, one was a Pharisee, the other was a tax-collector. The Pharisee stood and prayed like this with himself, ‘O God, I do thank you that I am not like the rest of mankind, greedy, dishonest, impure, or even like that tax-collector over there. I fast twice every week; I give away a tenth-part of all my income.’ But the tax-collector stood in a distant corner, scarcely daring to look up to Heaven, and with a gesture of despair, said, ‘God, have mercy on a sinner like me.’ I assure you that he was the man who went home justified in God’s sight, rather than the other one. For everyone who sets himself up as somebody will become a nobody, and the man who makes himself nobody will become somebody.”
Luke 18:10-14, J.B. Phillips New Testament

The Simple Gospel: It's all about grace.

Three Tests

  1. Am I judging other people?
  2. Am I comparing myself?
  3. Have I lost my peace?

Sacred Reading

A note about the recording of the Sacred Reading:
The reader will pause between each of the four readings. The pauses have been left in the recording so that the listener can experience the rhythm of the gathering and even participate in the reading.

For no one can ever be made right with God by doing what the law commands. The law simply shows us how sinful we are. But now God has shown us a way to be made right with him without keeping the requirements of the law, as was promised in the writings of Moses and the prophets long ago. We are made right with God by placing our faith in Jesus Christ. And this is true for everyone who believes, no matter who we are. For everyone has sinned; we all fall short of God’s glorious standard. Yet God, in his grace, freely makes us right in his sight. He did this through Christ Jesus when he freed us from the penalty for our sins.
Romans 3:20-24, New Living Translation

The Pursuit of Transformation: Stewarding Your Vocation

In the conversation for Sunday, February 26, 2017, Pastor Stuart Nice shares with us that our vocation is to share the "Jesus blessing" with others, letting them know that they are seen, loved, and accepted.

Stewarding Your Vocation

     Then they came to Jericho. As Jesus and his disciples, together with a large crowd, were leaving the city, a blind man, Bartimaeus (which means “son of Timaeus”), was sitting by the roadside begging. When he heard that it was Jesus of Nazareth, he began to shout, “Jesus, Son of David, have mercy on me!”
     Many rebuked him and told him to be quiet, but he shouted all the more, “Son of David, have mercy on me!”
     Jesus stopped and said, “Call him.”
     So they called to the blind man, “Cheer up! On your feet! He’s calling you.” Throwing his cloak aside, he jumped to his feet and came to Jesus.
     “What do you want me to do for you?” Jesus asked him.
     The blind man said, “Rabbi, I want to see.”
     “Go,” said Jesus, “your faith has healed you.” Immediately he received his sight and followed Jesus along the road.
Mark 10:46-52, NIV

Sacred Reading

A note about the recording of the Sacred Reading:
The reader will pause between each of the four readings. The pauses have been left in the recording so that the listener can experience the rhythm of the gathering and even participate in the reading.

For we also once were foolish ourselves, disobedient, deceived, enslaved to various lusts and pleasures, spending our life in malice and envy, hateful, hating one another. But when the kindness of God our Savior and His love for mankind appeared, He saved us, not on the basis of deeds which we have done in righteousness, but according to His mercy, by the washing of regeneration and renewing by the Holy Spirit, whom He poured out upon us richly through Jesus Christ our Savior.
Titus 3:3-6, NASB

Let Your Light Shine: Cultivating Your Gifts and Talents

In the conversation for Sunday, February 19, 2017, Pastor Kim Nowlin continues The Pursuit of Transformation series and reminds us of the things that allow us to hide the light of our gifts and talents.

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Let Your Light Shine: Cultivating Your Gifts and Talents

Three Things We Allow to Hide Our Light

  1. Our brokenness
  2. Our circumstances
  3. Our fears

Let your light shine....

Sacred Reading

Note: Due to technical difficulties, this week's Sacred Reading was not recorded. Below are the passage and instructions if you choose to practice the Sacred Reading on your own.

     “You are the world’s light—it is impossible to hide a town built on the top of a hill. Men do not light a lamp and put it under a bucket. They put it on a lamp-stand and it gives light for everybody in the house."
     “Let your light shine like that in the sight of men. Let them see the good things you do and praise your Father in Heaven.”
Matthew 5:14-16, J.B. Phillips New Testament (PHILLIPS)

The Practice of Sacred Reading

Using the guideline below, read the passage once per prompt. Read it slowly and preferably out loud. After each reading, follow the prompt's instruction. Finally, if you would like, write down your reflections and even share them if the opportunity arises.

Read: Read the passage and receive it as God’s message to you.

Reflect: Read the passage again and look for the word or phrase that the Holy Spirit highlights to your heart.

Respond: Take the highlighted words and make them a prayer.

Rest: Rest your heart in God’s promises.

The Pursuit of Transformation: The Stewardship of Primary Relationships

In the conversation for Sunday, February 12, 2017, Pastors Stuart Nice and Kim Nowlin share with us the importance of building and maintaining healthy relationships with those closest to us.

The Stewardship of Primary Relationships

  1. Stay on the Same Page
    Make my joy complete by being of the same mind, maintaining the same love, united in spirit, intent on one purpose. Do nothing from selfishness or empty conceit, but with humility of mind regard one another as more important than yourselves.
    Philippians 2:2-3, NASB
  2. Make Love a Verb
    Above all, keep fervent in your love for one another, because love covers a multitude of sins.
    1 Peter 4:8, NASB
  3. Take Relational Stewardship to the Next Spiritual Level
    Husbands, love your wives as Christ loved the church and gave his life for it. He did this to make the church holy by cleansing it, washing it using water along with spoken words. Then he could present it to himself as a glorious church, without any kind of stain or wrinkle—holy and without faults.
    Ephesians 5:25-27, GW

Sacred Reading

A note about the recording of the Sacred Reading:
The reader will pause between each of the four readings. The pauses have been left in the recording so that the listener can experience the rhythm of the gathering and even participate in the reading.

Do not let any unwholesome talk come out of your mouths, but only what is helpful for building others up according to their needs, that it may benefit those who listen. And do not grieve the Holy Spirit of God, with whom you were sealed for the day of redemption. Get rid of all bitterness, rage and anger, brawling and slander, along with every form of malice. Be kind and compassionate to one another, forgiving each other, just as in Christ God forgave you. Follow God’s example, therefore, as dearly loved children and walk in the way of love, just as Christ loved us and gave himself up for us as a fragrant offering and sacrifice to God.
Ephesians 4:29 - 5:2, NIV

The Pursuit of Transformation: The Stewardship of Possessions

In the conversation for Sunday, February 5, 2017, Pastor Stuart Nice shares with us that possessions, resources, and finances are an issue of the heart as much as it is about being financially responsible.  

The Stewardship of Possessions

Emotions of Resource Health

The Big Takeaways from Jesus

  1. There Is an Accounting
    "Everyone who has been given much, much will be required; and to whom they entrusted much, of him they will ask all the more." Luke 12:48, NASB
  2. Be Generous
    "
    Give, and it will be given to you. They will pour into your lap a good measure—pressed down, shaken together, and running over. For by your standard of measure it will be measured to you in return." Luke 6:38, NASB
  3. Keep Your Heart in Eternity
    "Then He said to them, “Beware, and be on your guard against every form of greed; for not even when one has an abundance does his life consist of his possessions." Luke 12:15, NASB

Sacred Reading

A note about the recording of the Sacred Reading:
The reader will pause between each of the four readings. The pauses have been left in the recording so that the listener can experience the rhythm of the gathering and even participate in the reading.

And God is able to make all grace abound to you, so that always having all sufficiency in everything, you may have an abundance for every good deed.
Now He who supplies seed to the sower and bread for food will supply and multiply your seed for sowing and increase the harvest of your righteousness; you will be enriched in everything for all liberality, which through us is producing thanksgiving to God.
2 Corinthians 9:8, 10-11, NASB

Barney Wiget: Reaching Rahab

In the conversation for Sunday, January 29, 2017, guest speaker, Barney Wiget shares his heart for the lost and hurting in our community by relating it to the story of Rahab in Joshua 2.

Barney reads all of Joshua 2 in his talk. Click here if you want to follow along.

As a segue to his message, Barney shares a song, Different Name, to illustrate the horrible treatment endured by victims of modern-day slavery and sex trafficking. It is not part of the recording, but you can listen to it below. Click here if you want to purchase a copy of it

In his talk, Barney refers to a ministry called Freedom House, and specifically two local shelters.

  • The Monarch House for Women in San Mateo County
  • The Nest House for Girls, 12-17 in Santa Clara County

Lastly, Barney introduces us to his recently published book, The Other End of the Dark: (A Memoir About Divorce, Cancer, and Things God Does Anyway)

SACRED READING

A note about the recording of the Sacred Reading: 
The reader will pause between each of the four readings. The pauses have been left in the recording so that the listener can experience the rhythm of the gathering and even participate in the reading.

Through Christ Jesus you have become rich in every way—in speech and knowledge of every kind. Our message about Christ has been verified among you. Therefore, you don’t lack any gift as you wait eagerly for our Lord Jesus Christ to be revealed. He will continue to give you strength until the end so that no one can accuse you of anything on the day of our Lord Jesus Christ. God faithfully keeps his promises. He called you to be partners with his Son Jesus Christ our Lord.
1 Corinthians 1:5-9, GW

 

The Pursuit of Transformation: The Stewardship of Health

In the conversation for Sunday, January 22, 2017, Pastors Stuart Nice and Kim Nowlin share with us how to steward our health, spiritually, mentally, and physically.

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The Stewardship of Health

Do you not know that your bodies are temples of the Holy Spirit, who is in you, whom you have received from God? You are not your own; you were bought at a price. Therefore honor God with your bodies. 1 Corinthians 6:19-20, NIV)
  1. Spiritual Health
    “Physical training is good, but training for godliness is much better,
    promising benefits in this life and in the life to come.” This is a trustworthy saying, and everyone should accept it.
    1 Timothy 4:8-9, NLT
  2. Mental Health
    Don’t worry about anything; instead, pray about everything. Tell God what you need, and thank him for all he has done. Then you will experience God’s peace, which exceeds anything we can understand. His peace will guard your hearts and minds as you live in Christ Jesus.
    Philippians 4:6-7
  3. Physical Health
    How we care for ourselves mentally and spiritually affects us physically. We must care for our whole person, not just our individual parts.

SACRED READING

A note about the recording of the Sacred Reading:
The reader will pause between each of the four readings. The pauses have been left in the recording so that the listener can experience the rhythm of the gathering and even participate in the reading.

He gives strength to those who grow tired
   and increases the strength of those who are weak.
Even young people grow tired and become weary,
   and young men will stumble and fall.
Yet, the strength of those who wait with hope in the Lord
   will be renewed.
      They will soar on wings like eagles.
         They will run and won’t become weary.
         They will walk and won’t grow tired.
Isaiah 40:29-31, God’s Word Translation

The Pursuit of Transformation: The Stewardship of Spiritual Formation

In the conversation for Sunday, January 15, 2017, Pastors Stuart Nice and Kim Nowlin share some introductory principles for starting or continuing a life of spiritual formation as a steward of the life given us by God.

The Stewardship Spiritual Formation

  1. Don’t Conform, Transform
    Don’t copy the behavior and customs of this world, but let God transform you into a new person by changing the way you think. Then you will learn to know God’s will for you, which is good and pleasing and perfect.  
    Romans 12:2, NLT
  2. Don’t Be a Hearer Only, Be a Doer
    Do what God’s word says. Don’t merely listen to it, or you will fool yourselves. If someone listens to God’s word but doesn’t do what it says, he is like a person who looks at his face in a mirror, studies his features, goes away, and immediately forgets what he looks like.
    James 1:22-24, GW
  3. Live in Love
    Live a life filled with love, following the example of Christ. He loved us and offered himself as a sacrifice for us, a pleasing aroma to God.  
    Ephesians 5:2, NLT


Sacred Reading

A note about the recording of the Sacred Reading: The reader will pause between each of the four readings. The pauses have been left in the recording so that the listener can experience the rhythm of the gathering and even participate in the reading.

A song by David for going up to worship.

O Lord, my heart is not conceited.
My eyes do not look down on others.
I am not involved in things too big or too difficult for me.
Instead, I have kept my soul calm and quiet.
My soul is content as a weaned child is content in its mother’s arms.
Israel, put your hope in the Lord now and forever.
Psalms 130:8 - 131:3, GW

The Pursuit of Transformation: The Seven Stewardships

In the conversation for Sunday, January 8, 2017, Pastors Stuart Nice and Kim Nowlin share about seven areas of stewardship through which we can pursue life change.

transformation
Guard your heart more than anything else,
because the source of your life flows from it.
Proverbs 4:23, GW

The Seven Stewardships

  1. Soul/Spirit
  2. Finances/Resources
  3. Heath
  4. Talents/Passions
  5. Relationships
  6. Time
  7. Vocation

Blooms Taxonomy: Aware, Ponder, Value, Act, Prioritize, Own, Export/Teach

SACRED READING

A note about the recording of the Sacred Reading: 
The reader will pause between each of the four readings. The pauses have been left in the recording so that the listener can experience the rhythm of the gathering and even participate in the reading.

Light exposes the true character of everything because light makes everything easy to see. That’s why it says:
     “Wake up, sleeper!
       Rise from the dead,
       and Christ will shine on you.”
So then, be very careful how you live. Don’t live like foolish people but like wise people. Make the most of your opportunities because these are evil days. Ephesians 5:13-16, GW